The Temples of Tiruchanur – The Alagiyaperumal Shrine

This is the earliest  Of the three shrines found inside the compound at tiruchanur.The entrance of the compound, surmounted by a big gopura, faces this shrine and not the other two as is the case with the parthasarathi shrine and  the Govindaraja shrine situated in the same compound at tirupati .
Alagiyaperumal or Krishna, installed in this shrine, is referred to in  ten inscriptions  found at tirupati and Tiruchanur. The earliest of them is  dated in the 5th year of Rqjaraja III, corresponding to 1221 A.D. The latest la dated in 1552A.D. There are two later fragments but they are undated, This deity and his temple seem to have been in existence by 1221 A, D. as stated above. The origin of the shrine may be ascribed to about the middle of the twelfth century. A certain  Pokkiran spent his own money and levelled a piece of land and made it cultivable. He gave it to the shrine and its servants agreed to conduct the Pangunt festival for the deity, obviously, in the name of the donor ‘(1-34), The Vijayanagara king, Saluva Narasimha, made a stipulation in 1467 A. D. regarding the distribution of prasadam to the sthanattar  of Tlrupati. Part of this stipulation provided for the offering of tWO platefuls of butter to Alagiya- perumal, supplied from the stores Of  the Sri Venkatesvara temple (11-30). Another record
contains an independent gift made by the same king (11-33). Kandadai

Ramanujayyangar, the manager of the gold treasury of Sri] Venkatesvara and of all (he Ramanujakutams at Tirumala and Tirupati, j deposited 8,770narpanam in the treasury of the Tirumalai temple and arranged for a number of offerings to be made to various deities.] Provision was made, in this connection, for the offering of dosai- padi to this god while he was seated in a mantapa on the Vidaiyyar festival (1V-3). A certain Sattalur Srinivasayyan paid2,7701 in 1541 A. D. during the reign of Achyutaraya and provided, among other services, for the offering of one dosai-padi to Alagiya on the day of the Urthavari festival during iheAdi-Brahmotsavc (1V-157). Ramaraja Kondaraja made an arrangement in 1552A.I according to which one Kanukku-padi was to be offered to this gc on the day of the Padiya-vettai festival celebrated for him (V-1331
This shrine consists of a Garbhagriha, Antarali Mukhamantapa, the rear part of which has been converted into] compartment before the Antarala,and Mahamantapa. It faces l east.
The Adhishthana or base of the shrine is low and simple cc . taining five plain and. undecorated members. The walls of t Garbhagriha above it are decorated with four plain pilasters on < side. The Prastara or entablature above the pilasters contains 1 Bhutamala or a row of dwarfs in various poses. The Kapota \ cornice above it is adorned with four Nasikas or gables on ea side with a human head inside each. There is a low parapet on 1 roof adornedwith makaras. The walls ot the Antarala contain < pilaster each. The Vimana above the roof is of the Dvitala type] has two square steps, one over the other and the comers of I higher step are adorned with lions.
The Sikhara above is round and of the Vesara order. It adorned with nasikas surmounted by simhalalatas in the f<0
directions. On its topis a double lotus with a gilded Kalasa in its centre. This Vimana was renovated in recent times.
The foremost part of the shrine contains an open mantapa of three rows of four pillars each. Of these, two pillars in the extremities of the front row are of the Chola style while the others are of the early Vijayanagara style. The floor between the four central pillars is slightly raised in the shape of a square. There are two more rows of four pillars each behind this mantapa but walls have been put up connecting them on the sides and in the front so as to form a narrow compartment. This compartment is now being used as the Snapanamantapa. Beyond this is a narrow Antarala. The Garbhagriha contains four icons. The principal image is that of Alagiyaperumal or Krishna seated in the centre. He sits in Padmasana with both his hands in the Varada pose and resting on the knees. At right angles to him is another deity stated to be Balarama, sitting with his left knee bent and unpraised and the right leg hanging below. He places his left hand on his left knee and rests the right hand on the ground. The other two images are those of Krishna as Kaliyamardana and of lakshminarasimha.

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